"Beth worked with me on honing my book proposal in preparation for going out on submission. She was insightful, perceptive and hugely helpful, offering a new perspective on my book and lots of useful advice. She has just the right combination of kindness and honesty, and working with her was a real pleasure. Can't recommend Beth enough if you need some help with a writing project." Lulah Ellender, author of Elisabeth's Lists (2018) and Grounding (2022) published by Granta
"Beth helped me find the confidence and clarity in my writing to spur me on to complete my novel." Martin Nathan, author of the novel A Place of Safety (2018), published by Salt
Writers at all stages
Whether you're a beginner writer or very experienced, one-to-one book coaching can be invaluable.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a book coach?
It's a coach in the football coaching sense, rather than the bus sense. As your coach, I can help you improve your book, whatever stage it's at. You might have got the first few chapters down, then got stuck. You might have fallen victim to the tricky bit in the middle. Or you might have a finished draft that simply isn't working.
Won't it take ages?
A lot of people only need one or two sessions.This isn't psychotherapy. Together, we will look at where you're at, where you want to be at, and see how we can narrow that gap between the two. It's your call how many sessions you have - this is an individual, tailor-made service designed to support you and your writing.
How do I know if this might suit me and my work?
Drop me an email, telling me where you're at with your writing, and what you want help with. I'll answer quickly, and let you know if I think I can help. This email exchange is completely free, in terms of both money and obligation. If I offer to work with you, but you subsequently change your mind, that's completely fine! If we both decide to go ahead, then we'll book a session.
"Writers who work with Beth get results. It’s thanks to Beth that my 30 years of promising to write this book and that book have turned into, erm, an actual published book. I went on a ‘formal’ Get Going course. She made me text her my word count daily during an extended write. And she gave the best advice of all: “If you’re going to write, write!” There. The secret’s out." Sam Knowles, author of Narrative by Numbers (2018), How to be Insightful (2020) and Asking Smarter Questions (2022), published by Routledge, March 2018
"I’m very grateful for the help and advice I had from Beth when I was querying. Publication is a rollercoaster ride and her kindness and support were invaluable." Lisa Timoney, author of Her Daughter's Secret (2022) published by Avon.
I once paid (a lot of money) to have a 20 minute session with an agent at Bloomsbury Publishers. I got very brief feedback but nothing constructive, no hint as to what might help my submission.
Beth, on the other hand, was totally different, was totally on the ball. I got a full hour plus written feedback to take away. The feedback was what constructive criticism should be. It was honest, but it was also based on an empathy with what I was trying to achieve...
She also gave me some advice, based again partly on her good, current knowledge of the market and what the gatekeepers are looking for but also on an understanding of what I was doing. One suggestion in particular was a game-changer. Highly recommended."
Mick Scruton, writer and teacher
Will you need to read my writing in advance?
If we book a session, then yes. The fee includes advance reading, usually up to 1000 words.
The first session is £75. This lasts one hour, and includes the advance reading mentioned above. Subsequent sessions are £60 an hour, whether that time is used for me to read the work, or to meet and talk.
Do we have to meet in person?
I do love meeting in person, but of course this isn't always possible. So I also do coaching work via Zoom, email and phone.
I've finished my book and am ready to send it out...
I offer a tailored submission package for writers ready to approach agents or publishers. Click here for the details.
Will coaching be useful for me?
If any of the following apply, then you might benefit from a coaching session:
- Have you sent off your manuscript to agents or publishers only to stack up the rejection letters?
- Have you got stuck with your synopsis ?
- Are the characters OK but the dialogue flat? Or the dialogue sparkly but the characters one-dimensional?
- Are you half-way through and losing faith?
- Are you on your second re-write and losing faith?
- Is there just something not working but you're not sure what?
Has anyone you worked with been published?
I'm delighted to say that they have (see the testimonials here). And lots more have had other successes, including completing first drafts, winning grants, being invited to give readings, re-kindling their love of writing, and getting back to their books after long breaks.
What's your experience?
I have been through this stuff myself. For years. Loads of rewrites, tons of rejections, a synopsis that ran to 14 drafts, not knowing whether I was writing the best or worst thing ever...
I've learned to see quickly what works - and what doesn't - in a story. I can see the wood for the trees, which is hard to do yourself when you're close to a piece of work. Since being published I have a better understanding of what 'they' are looking for. I am honest, fair, kind-but-firm. I will listen to what you want and try to help you get there. I will tell you if your goal is unrealistic. I will boost you up and give you confidence if the project is good. I will leave you with a game-plan for the next phase of your work. I am quite nice.
I want to know more!
"Beth was incredibly insightful as to what my proposal needed and hugely helpful in pointing me in the direction I needed to go to make it land with publishers.
I will be forever grateful for the way she encouraged and energised me in one short meeting."
Andy Last, author of Business on a Mission, published by Greenleaf Publishing, November 2016
I spent 15 years writing my novel, but after speaking to Beth I wrote the final 20,000 words in six weeks"
Steve Amos, writer
Writers ready to submit to agents and publishers
Well done! Your book is at last ready to plunge into the exciting but
shark-infested waters of agents and publishers.
Before you cast it adrift, you might want an objective eye on your submission. Agents receive hundreds of submissions a week, but
there are simple ways to improve the chances of yours being read.
I can advise on your letter, synopsis and opening page.
This useful service costs £100 (up to max.1500 words).
This includes a mark-up of your work in track changes, a cover report, and a half-hour Zoom or phone chat.
Optional extras include:
A longer Zoom chat designed to help you pinpoint
the right agents/publishers to approach
Critique of first chapter or first three chapters
Final ready-to-submit polish to first chapter
Find out more!
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me the following:
Type of book (eg fiction/non-fiction/memoir etc)
If fiction, what genre it is
How many words it is
Why you think you're ready to submit
and I will come back to you quickly letting you know if I think I can help. There's no obligation to go ahead, of course!
Writers I've Worked With
Since 2015 I've worked one-to-one with more than 150 writers.